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Pigment Cell Res. 1988;1(6):414-8.

Pigment types in sheep, goats, and llamas.

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Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, VPI&SU, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061.


Pigment types in various colors of fiber from sheep, goats, and llamas were assayed by a method using high performance liquid chromatography. In these three species the black/gray group is due to eumelanin, which is fully intense in all three species. Red phenotypes are due to pheomelanin and fade considerably with age in fiber from sheep and goats, but not in llamas. This phenomenon has implications on the genetic mechanisms used in generating white fiber. Brown phenotypes in sheep are due to eumelanin, in goats these phenotypes are equivocal, and they were not observed in llamas.

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